NASA has some new maps
showing air pollution around the world. It shows PM2.5
, that is, Particulate Matter less than 2.5 micrometers in size, small enough to get past normal bodily defenses and cause health problems. [more inside]
posted by stbalbach
on Sep 23, 2010 -
Swarming spacecraft to self-destruct for greater good.
"Future space probes that operate in cooperative swarms must commit hara-kiri if they begin to fail and risk damaging their comrades, says a recent patent application
The agency foresees a day when space missions are undertaken not by one large spacecraft but by swarming formations of much smaller, cheaper ones
. Such craft could collectively provide a "floating optics" system for a space telescope comprising separate craft flying in formation, for instance.
However, should one spacecraft in such a swarm begin to fail and risk a calamitous collision with another, it must sense its end is nigh and put itself on a course that takes it forever away from the swarm – for the greater good of the collective."
posted by Fizz
on Sep 6, 2010 -
"Tubes of space borscht are on sale in the museum gift shop. “There are white and black tubes. On the white is written: ‘BLONDE.’ On black one: ‘BRUNETTE.’ "
Astronauts relate challenges of life in space
posted by ambient2
on Aug 2, 2010 -
On July 17th, NASA's Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer
(WISE) satellite completed its first survey of the entire sky viewable from Earth
. After just seven months in orbit, WISE -- a precursor to the planned James Webb Space Telescope
-- has returned more than a million images that provide a close look at celestial objects
ranging from distant galaxies
. The first release of WISE data, covering about 80 percent of the sky, will be delivered to the astronomical community in May of next year
, but in the meantime we can see some of the images and animations that NASA has released to date: Galleries (containing just a small selection of images)
. Videos and Animations: 1
, 2 [more inside]
posted by zarq
on Jul 24, 2010 -
Year: 2025. Mission: Save Moonbase Alpha
after critical systems were damaged by a meteor strike. A free Steam
-powered 3D-immersive game from NASA. Windows only.
posted by jjray
on Jul 8, 2010 -
Last year, high school science teacher Ron Dantowitz of Brookline, Mass., played a clever trick on three of his best students. He asked them to plan a hypothetical mission to fly onboard a NASA DC-8 aircraft and observe a spacecraft disintegrate as it came screaming into Earth's atmosphere. For 6 months, they worked hard on their assignment, never suspecting the surprise Dantowitz had in store.
On March 12th, he stunned them with the news: "The mission is real, and you're going along for the ride."
posted by Burhanistan
on Jun 26, 2010 -
- A surprisingly groovy look at the Apollo 11 mission to the moon in a full length documentary that contains a lot of rare and not often seen footage of the preparations and launch of the first manned mission to the moon. Warning: Also contains lots of theramins, trippy optical effects, faux bohemians and some really blowy narrative.
posted by loquacious
on Apr 23, 2010 -
Neil deGrasse Tyson
: What NASA Means to America's Future. NdGT eloquently, passionately explains the essential importance
that the nation have a strong education system driven by a national vision that excites children. He argues for the importance of NASA in capturing the imagination of American children, leading them to excel in the sciences — back in the day. SLYT. [more inside]
posted by five fresh fish
on Apr 9, 2010 -
Compromise emerging for NASA's spaceflight future
Since the announcement was made last month of the cancellation of Constellation (NASA's plan for returning to the Moon and Mars), the punditsphere has been ablaze with condemnation, support, and outright confusion over the future of American manned spaceflight. Keith Cowling, editor of the Nasawatch.com blog, has posted an interesting new development
that if proven right, could prove to be a compromise between those wanting NASA to get out of manned spaceflight altogether and those seeking to keep the administration in the spaceflight business. [more inside]
posted by zooropa
on Apr 6, 2010 -
Many are familiar with Operation Paperclip
- the secret U.S. program that brought Nazi scientists to our shores in order to develop the American space program. However, the details surrounding the Nazi V-2 program has always been a little murky in the eyes of the American people - it turns out that more people were killed building V-2 rockets than from actual V-2 rocket attacks. A new photography exhibit called Dora and the V-2: Slave Labor in the Space Age
aims to transform perceptions in one of the American communities most affected by the influx of Nazi scientists... [more inside]
posted by cinemafiend
on Feb 22, 2010 -
Amateur video footage of the Challenger explosion
previously unknown, has now been found
and, of course, posted to YouTube. A retired man named Jack Moss was taping the launch from his front yard when the explosion occurred moments into the launch. The tape was relegated to his basement and forgotten, and Moss died late last year. His pastor remembered a conversation about the video and found it among other old Betamax videotapes from the same period. It is believed to be the only amateur footage of the event.
posted by briank
on Feb 5, 2010 -